Neville confident lock depth can step up after minor injury setback

Wed, Feb 7, 2024, 3:18 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Cadeyrn Neville backs the Brumbies depth as they build through the trials. Photo: Getty Images
Cadeyrn Neville backs the Brumbies depth as they build through the trials. Photo: Getty Images

Brumbies and Wallabies lock Cadeyrn Neville has backed their depth as the team already deals with some injury headaches in the second-row.

Neville led an inexperienced Brumbies side in their opening trial of the year, coming from behind to defeat the Fijian Drua.

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The eight-cap Wallaby was forced off the field after he tweaked his hamstring early in the second half, five minutes before Neville was set to come off.

Neville isn't expecting to miss out on the season opener on February 23 against the Melbourne Rebels.

However, with Nick Frost only just recovering from a right knee joint injury, it leaves the Brumbies likely relying on the likes of Lachlan Shaw and Will Sankey to step up for Saturday's trial against the Western Force.

Both impressed in last week's win, with Sankey set to return to Perth after making his Super Rugby debut with the Force in 2022.

"We're keeping me out of this weekend, unfortunately," Neville told reporters. "It's a pretty entry-level injury so I'm optimistic about round one...they were just being a little weary after a long pre-season so wasn't completely surprised but still annoying.

"Frosty's pretty much finished his rehab so it's good for him to come straight back in, but it's also a great opportunity for the other guys who have been working hard all summer (such as) 'Shawy' and Sankey.

"We've been tested at different times over the last couple of years and always someone always puts their hand up and does a good job."

Larkham is expected to roll out a stronger side for Saturday's trial against the Force in Claremont.

Winger Andy Muirhead was impressed with what the younger players have brought to the squad as they battle seasoned Wallabies for selection.

"I'm not surprised," he said. "Some of the guys have been around for a couple of years, they train well and they show what they've got against us older fellas.

"There's a bright future for a handful of the guys that got an opportunity last week. Hopefully, we can keep them in the club and they can get some more game time for our (Brumbies) Runners and potentially next year.

"Not really any surprised, a few of the fans would have been scratching their head saying 'where do you get these guys from' but it's not a surprise to us."

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